[Read Dating Part One before this post]
Laundering the sheets, recycling the wine bottles and washing up the glasses, I contemplated the night before. It was technically a one-night stand – the first in more than 20 years.
The lure of ‘love em and leave em’ was slightly tarnished in the warm Saturday afternoon sun. Although a physical relationship without emotional investment seemed good as a concept, the actuality of it wasn’t what I had hoped for. I was looking for passion and although the night before had been physically adventurous, there was something deeply unsatisfying about getting off with someone I didn’t really know or care for.
With a new set of criteria, I combed through the men who had recently contacted me. I was looking for someone who was emotionally compatible (looking for a relaxed relationship, not marriage), spiritually aware (no atheists or born again no-sex-before-marriage Christians), intellectually stimulating (spelling and grammar at the very least), and physically attractive.
Over the next two weeks, the list of guys who passed the initial 4 point test and who I agreed to date grew so long I started getting confused over who was who. The easiest way to keep things straight was to notate their names in my phone contact list with a reminder of who they were . The list (that still exists) included such characters as Bhaskar (Indian), Peter (Welshman), Jesse (Manly), John (Latin), Mark (Gardener), Mark (Sailor), Rhys (28), Steve (Fireman), Steve (Greek).
It all got crazy when Easter rolled around and I had four days off so I decided to fill up my days with as many dates as possible.
It started out with Peter (Welshman) for Good Friday lunch at Darling Harbour. That evening I went out with Rhys (28) (which was his age) for a few drinks that went nowhere and made me feel old. On Saturday night I had a date with Steve (Greek) which I really enjoyed and I would have seen him again (to at least retrieve the umbrella I left in his car) except for the persistence of a man we now know as Duckfish.
Duckfish came on the scene the Tuesday night before Easter. We emailed and chatted on-line every day throughout that week and into the weekend. On Saturday morning he phoned to cancel the date we had arranged for Sunday night because he couldn’t manage it. It was Easter and he had the kids.
I really liked him (and his English accent) but this was the first time I had been stood up. I thought if he liked me enough he would have found a way.
By the time Sunday came around I had a hole in my schedule and I really wanted to see what Duckfish looked like to determine if he was worth giving a second chance. It is hard to tell what people look like from their (slightly Photoshopped) profile pictures so I devised a way to get a better idea of what he was like. He agreed to keep his original promise, our date on Sunday night, but instead of in person via webcam.
After his kids had gone to bed we dressed up, poured ourselves a glass of wine and hooked up the video call that lasted into the early hours of the next morning. It was crazy, hilarious and a bit weird but the best part was he looked great. He had gorgeous blue eyes, a full head of dark brown hair, and the body of a 25-year-old (which he managed to reveal when for some reason he had to unbutton his shirt).
When I finally woke up on Easter Monday with a slightly sore head I thought about cancelling my plans for the next person on the list — Bhaskar the Indian gentleman. But without any commitment from the elusive Duckfish, I decided to keep on keeping on.
At 5pm, all primped and preened in black pants, a white t-shirt and a denim jacket, I sat waiting at the wharf for the ferry to take me to Circular Quay. The phone chimed with a text message.
“I’m dropping the kids off at 7pm and I’m driving over to see you.” — Duckfish
“I’ve got a date 5.30pm so I don’t know what time I’ll be back”. — Katie
“I’ll call you when I’m ready to set off”. — Duckfish
Bhaskar was a perfectly lovely man, full of warmth and intelligence but I was totally distracted. After a glass of wine at the bar, he invited me to dinner. I said yes, mainly because it was still early and he had tickets to see a show at 8pm so I would still have time to fit in seeing Duckfish if he actually managed to show up.
During dinner, the phone rang, and I had to excuse myself from the table. It was Duckfish telling me he was on his way. All of a sudden I wasn’t hungry any more.
Somehow I managed to finish dinner, put Bhaskar in a taxi and still make the 8pm ferry. It was still light and pleasantly warm as I walked down the hill towards my flat.
A man I recognised from a pixelated web picture got out of his car and walked towards me. “I think you might be looking for me …” I said. He grinned, and took me in his arms enveloping me in a long hug. When he finally let go of me, it was only enough to move his head to kiss me tenderly on the lips.
There in the middle of the street on a balmy Easter Monday with a man I had only just met, I felt whole. The Universe held its breath as our two hearts found a common heartbeat and we breathed as one. His touch and his smell obliterated all thought and logic. At that moment, I fell in love for the first time in my life.